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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

NITDA seeks collaboration with African Engineers to end poverty


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By Na’ankwat Dariem,

Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), is seeking collaboration with engineering professionals in Africa to incorporate emerging technologies into engineering processes to enhance productivity which will in turn reduce poverty in Africa.

The collaboration between engineering professionals and government could help tame poverty by empowering millions of people with improved skill sets across sectors,

The Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa recently expressed this while hosting members of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, (COREN), led by its Registrar, Prof. Adisa Bello and a team from the Engineers Board of Kenya, led by its chairman, Erastus Mwongera in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

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Emerging technologies are re-shaping the way engineers design and develop their equipment globally and it is a necessary step in the right direction for Africa to adopt these processes for optimal productivity in engineering as practiced on the continent.

According to Inuwa , there is need for a convergence between IT and engineering because it would reduce cost of research and development as well as enhance innovations in real-time to achieve desired results.

“Today we are talking about data and in mechanical engineering for example, there are no longer machines on the field, there are smart and connected machines that are able to generate data for predictive maintainers and predictive analytics”, he explained.

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“I am glad that Africa is now looking inward to see how to put our energies together to develop African countries. Engineers are problem solvers and as long as the solutions are local, it will require local initiative as well,” he further said.

Because information technology is pervasive and Africa has all it takes to be a global superpower in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), the NITDA boss urged the two visiting engineering bodies to develop existential capabilities and flexibility to survive and thrive.

Inuwa explained that at NITDA, “we are promoting innovation-driven enterprises and the target is to take it to the global market. We have initiatives that bring the youths together, build ecosystems and build solutions to our problems.”

He affirmed that technology has been disrupting processes including engineering processes globally adding that NITDA has developed various initiatives to grow the innovative ecosystem.

In his remarks, Prof. Adisa Bello commended NITDA for its milestones over the years and expressed the willingness of COREN to work with the agency in leveraging IT for engineering processes to enhance productivity.

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Similarly, Mr. Erastus Mwongera also commended the agency for the work of its subsidiary, the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR).

He said the collaboration with NITDA could serve well to benchmark up-scaling engineering processes in Kenya and the rest of the continent.

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